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Planning Resources

Top 10 things to do as a family in Jackson, WY

April 1, 2024

Planning Resources
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I have lived across the country and around the world, but the Grand Teton area has captured my heart. Here you can breathe freely, here you can live openly, here you can love fiercely.
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When traveling with kids, you want to make sure you invest enough time and effort into finding a location that is packed with fun, family-friendly activities so that your kids won’t get bored easily. At the same time, you want to choose a place that provides the right level of beauty and thrill to quench your own wanderlust. I know that juggling these two interests can be a daunting task — so I took care of it for you. Here’s a guide to all the best family-friendly activities to do in Jackson Hole, home to some of the most picturesque and adventurous national parks in America.

Candid portrait photographer for families in GTNP by Jenna Boshart Photography, family portraits in Grand Tetons

Is Jackson Hole good for kids?

What makes Jackson, WY, the perfect family destination? First off, there’s no shortage of exciting things to do in Jackson Hole, which will make every day you spend here fun and action-packed! Secondly, given the vast breadth of activities available, you could easily spend a week here and still have things left to do, guaranteeing that your kids will never get bored. Finally, Jackson Hole is a great place to come to if your family needs a break from city life and is yearning to reconnect with nature and spend time outdoors.

What month is best for Jackson Hole?

If you want to avoid the throngs of tourists and still bask in pleasant, summer temperatures, September is the best month to visit Jackson Hole. However, since summer tends to be the most convenient time of year for families, rest assured that summer in Jackson Hole can be just as fun!

family portraits in Grand Tetons, Lake sunset in Grand Tetons in September, best time to visit Grand Tetons

How to spend a day at Jackson Hole

Without further ado, here are the 10 best year-round activities to fill up your family’s day at Jackson Hole.

1. Hike in the world-famous Tetons

Hiking is the perfect pastime for summer in Jackson Hole. The towering expanse of the Tetons, warm, buttery sunlight, and fresh, invigorating air will make you and your kids fall in love with Jackson Hole. The best part is that you can choose the length and difficulty of the hike to your family’s needs — there are countless trails to choose from, whether you’re traveling with young kids or adolescents! There are even several trails that are accessible for people in wheelchairs or families with kids in strollers. You can find an exhaustive list of all the best trails in my article here.

You can also hike in the Tetons during the winter but make sure that you come prepared with winter gear and know which trails will be open. It can be just as rewarding, though — you’ll witness the domineering peaks covered by a blanket of white snow, a sight that you’ll remember forever.

2. Set off on a nature excursion

The Grand Teton National Park is home to a range of exotic flora and fauna that your kids will undoubtedly ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over. A wildlife tour not only allows you to spend hours exploring the stunning park but also gives your kids an opportunity to learn about the world around them. It’s a win-win!

There are two options for taking a wildlife tour in the Grand Teton National Park: you can either sign up for a guided tour here if you don’t feel confident in unfamiliar terrain or you can take your car and set off on your own path! Either way, your family will be strapped in for the experience of a lifetime.

buffalo in Jackson, WY, family friendly nature excursions in Jackson, buffalo in a field in Jackson Hole

3. Spend a day skiing as a family

If you’re planning on visiting Jackson Hole in the winter, skiing should be at the top of your list! The area is known for its ski slopes, among which Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is the most famous. In fact, world-class ski teams often come here to practice, and several Alpine Ski World Cups have been hosted here in the past!

However, the slopes at Jackson Hole Mountain are a bit challenging for beginners so if you’re looking for more family-friendly ski slopes, Snow King Mountain is the place for you! First off, it’s open year-round so it also qualifies as a summer activity! Plus, it doesn’t just offer skiing, but also alpine slide, zip-lining, mini-golf, and a treetop adventure course — what more could you want?

family friendly skiing in Grand Tetons National Park, skiing in GTNP

4. Splash around in beautiful lakes, rivers, and waterfalls

If you prefer spending time in the water, fret not because Jackson, WY, has got you covered on all fronts! There are endless varieties of stunning lakes, rivers, hot springs, and waterfalls to be found throughout the Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. One particularly famous river for families is Snake River which, despite its intimidating name, provides many spots for shallow swimming, such as Rendezvous Park. It also offers many fun activities, such as rafting, kayaking, and more!

For winter-goers, a great idea is to jump into a hot spring after a long day of trudging around to unwind. The Astoria Hot Springs Park is well-known for its exceptional views and mineral-rich waters (booking required)!

family friendly rivers and lakes in GTNP, rivers in Grand Tetons

5. Test out the local cuisine

Anyone with kids knows how important it is to find food that your kids will eat without complaint. You’ll be relieved to know that Jackson Hole has cuisine that caters to all tastes and ages! For the kids, the options are endless: pizzas, burgers, pasta, and the like.

The best part, however, is that the adults can indulge themselves in the Jackson Hole specialty: meat. There are endless options to pick from the locally sourced meats, such as elks, bison, deer, and many more. If you’re vegetarian, however, don’t worry because the fish is also known for its superior quality, caught fresh in Snake River! There are also many other delicious options for vegetarians in all local restaurants. The food in Jackson Hole will not leave you wanting.

Million Dollar Cowboy Bar in Jackson Hole, WY, local restaurant Jackson Hole, WY, local food Jackson, WY

6. Enjoy some good old-fashion family friendly rock climbing

There’s no better place to do rock climbing than Jackson Hole, where people of all skills and abilities can try their hand at the sport. As with most other activities, Jackson Hole offers a family-friendly option and kids and beginners can kick off their rock-climbing career here.

There are many facilities throughout the Grand Teton National Park that offer training courses and controlled facilities with quality packages for the family, such as Exum Mountain Guides. You can either let the guides take control or you can indicate your family’s desires and preferences, letting them plan the day around that. Either way, you’ll eventually find yourself scampering up and down boulders in one of the most beautiful national parks in the country!

Rock climbing in Jackson, WY, rock climbing in Jackson Hole

7. Immerse yourself in the Wild West charm

Jackson Hole is the personification of Wild West charm, and you don’t want to leave without experiencing the feel of the local culture. Go to a rodeo and participate in bronco riding, bull riding, barrel racing, and calf roping for the family, with real-life cowboys and cowgirls swarming around! Try your hand at the cowboy competitions and find out if you’re a natural talent!

You can also take a visit down to see Town Square Park and marvel over the infamous arches made entirely out of elk antlers. No animals were harmed during the process – all antlers were shed and collected from Elk Refuge!

Finally, if your kids do end up getting tired of the outdoors, you can wander down to the Jackson Hole Children’s Museum to gather more knowledge about the history and culture of Jackson Hole.

Antler Arch in Jackson Hole, WY, Antler sculpture in Jackson, antler instillation

8. Watch a geyser erupt

Yellowstone National Park is among the best places in the country to witness geothermal activity, so you certainly don’t want to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime experience! In fact, 60% of the world’s geysers are located right here, making it the world’s largest collection of geysers.

Take a stroll in the Upper Geyser Basin to feast your eyes on at least 150 geysers within one square mile. Old Faithful is one of the most famous geysers here, located in an easily accessible area of the park, and it erupts around 20 times a day so you needn’t worry about missing out. Not only is it a beautiful sight to witness, but also provides a great educational lesson to your kids in geology!

Old Faithful Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone geyser, Old Faithful Geyser family friendly

9. Take a captivating tram ride as a family

Take to the skies in one of the many trams or gondolas located throughout Jackson Hole to get a birds-eye view of the ravishing landscape. Your kids will immediately fall in love with the view, and you can sit back and relax as you get an aerial tour of Jackson Hole. You can also opt to take the tram that goes up to ​Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for some of the best viewpoints in the area and waffles that will leave you hungering for more!

Jackson Hole Tram and Gondola ride, Tram ride in Jackson, WY, family friendly gondola ride in Jackson

10. National Museum of Wildlife Art

For those families seeking a more immersive experience in Jackson Hole, the National Museum of Wildlife Art is the place to learn all about the flora and fauna of the area. In fact, this is the only museum in the world dedicated entirely to the appreciation of wildlife in art. An early trip to the Museum of Wildlife Art can help to gain a better understanding of the local wildlife so that your family is better able to appreciate Jackson Hole once you set off into the wild. 

BONUS: Family Portraits

Amidst the myriad of adventures awaiting your family in Jackson Hole, there’s one timeless activity that perfectly encapsulates the essence of your journey: capturing precious family moments with a professional photoshoot. Imagine your smiles set against the backdrop of the majestic Tetons or amidst the vibrant colors of Jackson Town Square. These portraits not only freeze moments in time but also serve as tangible reminders of the unforgettable memories made in this picturesque paradise. Don’t let these moments slip away – book a family session and preserve the magic of your Jackson Hole adventure for generations to come!

candid family portrait at lake in the mountains

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